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Jessica Biel made headlines with her unique pre-Met Gala ritual involving a hefty amount of Epsom salts. As documented in a TikTok video, Biel prepped for the event with a soak in a tub filled with 9kg (20lbs) of Dr Teal’s Epsom salts. According to the actress, the key to feeling gala-ready is a hot, lengthy soak followed by ample hydration and an early night.

2. Vampire facials

“Tonight on Kourtney & Kim Take Miami!!! #VampireFacial” Kim Kardashian captioned a blood-smeared selfie in 2013. Photo: @kimkardashian/Instagram
Kim Kardashian brought the “vampire facial” into the spotlight with a blood-covered selfie in 2013. The treatment involves drawing the patient’s blood and processing it to extract platelet-rich plasma, which is applied to the face. Kardashian found the procedure too painful to repeat – but, People reported more than six years later, her sister Kourtney became a devotee. The procedure came under spotlight again last month when it was revealed it had been linked to three new HIV cases in the US state of New Mexico.

3. Vaginal steaming

Gwyneth Paltrow, who swears by vaginal steaming, in a selfie shared with her followers in May. Photo: @gwynethpaltrow/Instagram
Gwyneth Paltrow is a known advocate of unconventional treatments, including vaginal steaming, per Harper’s Bazaar. Promoted through her brand Goop – and since then, widely criticised by gynaecologists – the practice was said to cleanse the uterus and rebalance hormones, thanks to the power of mugwort steam. Despite the practice’s controversial nature, Paltrow has stood by its purported benefits.

4. Leech therapy

Demi Moore, pictured at the Vanity Fair Oscars party in March, is a fan of leech therapy. Photo: @demimoore/Instagram
Demi Moore swears by leech therapy, a treatment she first tried during a cleanse in Austria, as she shared in 2008 with David Letterman. Medicinal leeches have bioactive substances in their saliva that help to detoxify the blood and stimulate the immune system. Supermodel Miranda Kerr also revealed she has tried leech facials, highlighting the enduring appeal of this ancient therapy.

5. Bee sting therapy

Another peculiar favourite of Paltrow, bee sting therapy is said to help reduce inflammation and scarring. Despite the pain associated with the process and its potential risks – including of a severe allergic reaction – Paltrow praised bee venom’s remarkable effects. “I’ve been stung by bees. It’s a thousands of years old treatment called apitherapy,” she told The New York Times in April 2016.

6. Bird dropping facials

Victoria Beckham’s Daily Oil Cleanser – which has olive fruit oil as its hero ingredient, not bird droppings, although the star has reportedly used the latter in beauty treatments. Photo: @victoriabeckham/Instagram
Victoria Beckham’s glowing skin might be attributed to her use of geisha facials, which use nightingale droppings, per British media. This unconventional exfoliant, imported from Japan, is applied to cleanse and brighten the skin, offering a unique approach to maintaining a radiant complexion.

7. Breast milk skincare

Jodie Turner-Smith told British Vogue in 2020 that she was incorporating her own breast milk into her skincare routine, mixing it with aloe vera and face serum. She said she believed the lactic acid had been transformative for her sensitive skin, adding, “I’ve just found that the milk has been revolutionary.”

8. Foreskin facials

Cate Blanchett, pictured at last month’s premiere of the Donald Trump biopic The Apprentice, revealed to Vogue Australia in March 2018 that she and Sandra Bullock had got a “penis facial”. Photo: Xinhua
Dubbed the “penis facial”, this Cate Blanchett favourite uses stem cells harvested from the foreskins of newborns during circumcision. Per British media, the cells are harvested from Korean babies and “infused into the skin using a special microneedling technique to stimulate collagen production”. Marketed as the Hollywood EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor) Facial, the beauty treatment is understandably among the world’s most controversial.

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